Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Apple Picking 2015

This past weekend we headed up to Jonamac Orchard to do some apple picking. This is our 3rd year in a row going and I love that it has become tradition.

We met my sister, brother in law, nephew, aunt and cousins up there too.  We didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked with my aunt and cousins but hopefully they will make this their tradition too and come with every year :)

She is such a cute apple picker! This was her first year really into it.  She had a blast picking apples and was so cute when she would grab one and if it wasn't up to par she would say "Ew, yuck" and throw it on the ground. 

One of the best parts.. fresh apple cider donuts!!

They have this fun apple launcher and each kid got to do it (well Brayden & Ella) - Brayden was sad he didn't hit the target with his apple and it didn't help that Ella (with my help) hit one...oh gotta love sibling rivalry!


Always reaching for the tall ones with Daddy :)

Miss A was allowed of her stroller this year and thought apple picking was just OK :)

but she did enjoy the heck out of eating the apples

Brayden wanted the hubs to help him get to an apple that was super high and as Rick kept trying to get Brayden on his shoulders all the 2 of them could do was laugh

We had such a fun day apple picking - now to find some yummy recipes to make something all these apples!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

An emotional month

It's been a few weeks now since my little man started Kindergarten. There are days I sit and think about him being there and I really can't believe it, it doesn't seem real some days. I know he was fully ready and all that but I guess I just can't get over how fast this came and how fast he is growing right before my eyes.  It takes a big milestone (in my opinion) to realize just how far your little babes have come.

While I am beyond proud of my little guy, I miss him so much during the day.  It still seems weird with him not being here doing everything with us.  There is definitely a "void." Slowly it's becoming my new normal but I have a feeling I will always miss him.  It gets me emotional because this is the beginning of my kids really growing up. I have 1 in school, 2 at home.  One day I'll have 2 in school and only 1 home.  And then you know what comes after that. I know that is still ways away but I can't help but let my mind go there and wonder what it will be like.  I am the Mom who wants her kids to stay little forever so all of this stuff gets me a little teary eyed.

This month Brayden has shown me just what an amazing little boy he is.  He started going to school, all day, every day (well, M-F) which was a huge adjustment from his 3 days, 2 1/2 hours a day of preschool he did.  The beginning was a little rough but to be honest, much better than I anticipated.  I thought there would be tons of tears, tons of I don't want to go's, and so on.  But to my surprise, he didn't have any of those (at least that I saw).  In the first couple of weeks he would come home and tell me that he cried some days because he missed me but I kept telling him how awesome he was doing and that it's OK to miss me because I missed him too and that's just part of this whole process. I am proud to say that he has gone a couple of weeks now with no tears and comes home super happy!

Speaking of coming home (and going) - all summer long I said I was going to drive him to school and pick him up.  I felt like since I stay home now, I wanted to do that (and told myself I would enjoy it too) but about a week before school was starting the hubs and a few others started swaying my decision to let him take the bus.  Their case was a good one - I wouldn't have to pack everyone up during our frigid winters and most importantly I wouldn't have to wake the girls up from their nap to go pick him up at the end of the day.  This all made total sense to me but I still couldn't be sure this was the right decision.  I mean, how could I give a complete stranger (the bus driver) responsibility for my child?! This was so huge for me, I really wasn't sure I could do it.  I waffled for days then it was 2 days before school and I had to make a decision so I could share with Brayden.  In the end I decided to drive him his first day and after that it would be the bus.  Brayden was not so on board with this idea but we all kept telling him how awesome it was going to be...


Thankfully my Mom came over the first morning he was taking the bus.  We walked him to the stop, took some pictures, hyped up the bus even more, gave him tons of kisses and watched him walk on. Immediately after the bus took off, my mom stayed with the girls and I got in my car and followed it to school (doesn't every parent do that!?) I had to make sure for myself that my son was going to be OK. In my head I couldn't understand how he was going to know what to do, where to go, etc.  But you know what? He figured it out and of course there are tons of staff around to help guide.

A few weeks into taking the bus and I think all is finally good.  There were some days he begged me to drive him and I had to stay strong. Of course every part of me wanted to drive him but I knew if I did it once, he would beg me all of the time.  There was a day last week he got out of school early so I told him that day I would pick him up and we went and did something fun.  So now he knows only on special occasions I will pick him up and the bus is his primary way to and from school.

I can't believe we are almost a month into this school thing.  What a difference Kindergarten is from preschool! My Mama heart sure wasn't ready but I don't think I ever would have been.  There have been many tears shed on my part because I know my baby has done so much growing up this month. Letting go is so hard, and I've definitely had to "let go" quite a bit these past few weeks, but honestly, I couldn't be more proud of my little man.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Life Lately

It's finally here! Fall! Now I am so ready for all the things that come with that little 4 letter word.

But now let's look at what we've been up to :)

The littles at the park while big brother is at school.  Ella is such a good big sister, always making sure Avery is happy at the park.

Oh my world! My sweet Ella started dance class last week and I about died with her in her leotard/skirt/tights/ballet slippers.  I know I'm biased, but she is the cutest tiny dancer I've ever seen!

Avery loves to put the stethoscope around her neck and crawl or cruise around, she's a funny one

Saturday was our 7th wedding anniversary! (Happy Anniversary Babe!!) The hubs surprised me with a date night to Medieval Times - I've always wanted to go and he remembered me saying that (like forever ago) so that's where we celebrated.  It is a huge to do this Medieval Times! We had an announcement for our anniversary, ate dinner while watching a tournament, had cake since we were there celebrating something and afterwards were knighted by the king.  Yes, I'm aware that mostly children were being knighted but that wasn't about to stop us! I love that my hubs will do things like this with me :)

This weekend I also had my garage sale, which was one of my September goals. It was a lot of work but I'm happy I did it. We got rid of soooooo much stuff and earned some money while doing it.

Avery loved helping - I just wish she would have stayed still in that box :)

Yesterday I also started a new project....more details to come soon (hopefully!)

We took the kids to the park before dinner then it was home to eat and relax

After dinner I took a shower and came down in my pj's (what else would you put on at 6pm!?) I asked the hubs if it was too early for fair isle but I was meaning it in the sense of the time of the year that it is, and his reply was yes, it's too early, it's still light outside, LOL

That's our life lately! I'm looking forward to a good week filled with lots of fun stuff :)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Kid favorites - Books

I thought it would be fun to highlight some our current favorite children's books.  We love books around here and are always looking for suggestions on new ones.  My sister did a post on a few of here favorites which you can check out here - We have 2 out of the 3 she mentions so I think I need to add Ten Tiny Toes to my list.

Reading to children, even before they can understand words, teaches them to associate books with love and affection.:

Since I have 3 kiddos at different ages, our books are a wide variety.

First up is my oldest (5) - he definitely loves reading the most out of the 3.  Here are some of his favorites:

1. Pete the Cat - Rocking in my School Shoes - We have quite a few of Pete the Cat books but right now he's loving this one.  These books are so cute and I always love a series when you can follow the same character.

2.  Waiting is Not Easy! - an Elephant and Piggie book - Now that Brayden is starting to read on his own, we love these books! Again, we have a quite a few of these but right now this is one of his faves. These are great books for the beginner reader.

3.  The Day the Crayons Quit - Oh my gosh how we all love this book! It is so cute and you can really get into playing different characters (I mean crayons) :)

4.  Duck Soup - this book both my older kids love.  It's a cute story about Chef Max cooking up his own soup when he goes "missing" - his friends race to find him but sometimes things aren't always as they seem.  This is a really fun read.

Next up are my middles favorites - she is 3 and can barely sit still but she does love when I read these

1.  5 Minute Princess Stories - My little one will grab this book and pick out which story she wants to hear.  Anything about princesses she is totally into!

2.  Corduroy - This is just a classic right here! Brayden also loves this book too. It's a good family favorite to have around.

3.  An Ordinary Princess - The author, Sally Huss, is known for creating books that are light & whimsical and bright & happy. This book is adorable and we have several others on our wish list.

4.  Lilly's Big Day - I bought this book because Ella was being the flower girl in my SIL's wedding and thought it was cute.  Now she asks to read it everyday.

 Now for my littlest one - she is 13 months and loves being read to 

1.  How Do I Love You? - This book is just so cute, definitely a must have in the nursery.

2.  Hoot - She got this for her 1st birthday and we love this book! Such a fun little rhyming book.

3.  Pajama Time! - Any book by Sandra Boynton is a hit in our house.  My son still loves reading these books with us.

4.  Guess How Much I Love You - This is another classic in my opinion.  We've had this since I had my first and I've read it to each baby.  It's a sweet book about the love between a Father & Son.

There's our current favorite round up! I would love to hear what books you and your kiddos are reading. We are always looking for new reads!

*affiliate links used

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

healthy quinoa stuffed peppers

It's no secret that I love me some quinoa.  It's such a great alternative to rice or potatoes and it's so good for you too. Now ask my husband his opinion on quinoa and it will be much different, but he still eats my cooking so he gets some points for that.

Here's an easy, yummy recipe for stuffed peppers made with qunioa and ground turkey.  Enjoy!


6 large peppers - any color of your liking
1 lb of ground turkey - can be substituted with ground beef or ground chicken
1 cup of uncooked quinoa
1 can of red enchilada sauce
1 can of black beans
1 cup of shredded cheese of your choice + extra for topping  (I always use monterey jack)


Preheat your oven to 350.

Cook your quinoa in a separate pot according to the directions. In a separate skillet, brown your ground turkey.  

Cut the tops of your peppers off and discard. Clean out the insides and remove all seeds. Place your peppers inside a baking dish standing upright.

Once the turkey and the quinoa are cooked, mix them along with the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.  Scoop the mixture into each pepper and add shredded cheese to the top of each one.

Cover your baking dish with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove the dish and foil and sprinkle more shredded cheese on the tops and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes.

There you go, a super easy and pretty healthy dinner.  Happy Wednesday friends!

Monday, September 14, 2015

weekend {re} cap

Happy Monday! (said no one ever, ha)

We had such a nice weekend and it even felt extra long which is always so nice!

Friday started with taking this cutie for her 3 year well visit.  She did great and looks great.  She is still a peanut though, topping the charts in the teens for weight :)

After the dr, we picked up my Mom and met my sister and nephew at a local nature center.  It was such a fun place and blows our towns nature center out of the water.  They had tons of animals to look at and since it was pretty much dead in there, we had a personal guide who took out a few for us to see.

My little girl was so into all of the animals and really had no fear (doesn't surprise me at all)

She even asked to see the snake!! 

Avery wasn't quite so sure of anything she saw and if she got too close she definitely let me know :)

Saturday morning we were all up bright and early to get to little mans soccer pictures at 8am. Following pictures he had his first game.  We were so excited to watch him!

We found out quickly our little guy does not like any side line cheering.  I would say things like "go Brayden! Good Job team red!" and he would turn around and look at me and tell me to stop it with his stink face he gets.  So I had to keep my mouth shut for the rest of the game (which was soooo hard for me, LOL)

However, half way through the game he pretty much was over it.  He was so tired and he literally just stopped playing.  He put his hands in his pocket and would just stand there as his team and the other were all going after the ball.  It was quite comical to watch and we are hoping he fully participates next week.

Saturday night we had a fire in the backyard and the kids helped get it ready

How sweet does Avery look!?


I can't believe Avery is getting big enough to play in this outdoor house.  Time sure does fly

Sunday was a pretty relaxing morning - we tried on Brayden's batman mask and cape that came over the weekend

Then it was game time!! Of course I made these cuties pose in their Bears gear and then we headed over to my in laws to watch the game.  Too bad we lost, but it's not something we aren't use to :)

Time to get our week started.  Hope everyone has a great one!